Home > Published Issues > 2024 > Volume 10, Number 1, 2024 >
IJLT 2024 Vol.10(1): 64-69
doi: 10.18178/ijlt.10.1.64-69

Improving Higher Education Course Cognitive Outcomes with a Test-Driven Design Strategy for Instruction

Yongbin Zhang 1, Xiuli Fu 2,*, Li Wei 3, and Chunmei Wang 4
1. Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, China
2. Department of Information Engineering, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, China
3. Department of Economic Management, Zhoukou Normal University, China
4. School of Journalism and Communication, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, China
Email: zhangyongbin@bigc.edu.cn (Y.Z.); fuxiuli@bipt.edu.cn (X.F.); ailili152@163.com (L.W.); wangchunmei@bigc.edu.cn (C.W.)
*Corresponding author

Manuscript received May 1, 2023; revised June 13, 2023; accepted July 26, 2023; published January 24, 2024.

Abstract—Course learning outcomes are essential parts of program outcomes in higher education. Improving course learning outcomes is a challenging and ongoing task for instructors. This paper aims to improve course cognitive learning outcomes with a novel instruction design model in higher education. A test-driven instruction design strategy is proposed based on learning science theory and the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) paradigm. With the test-driven design strategy, an instructor will design test cases for each class or lecture. At the beginning of a lecture, students will take a test. Then the instructor and students have other learning activities. Before the end of the lecture, the students will take the test again. After that, the instructor and the students will discuss the content and solve the problems according to the test results. This test-driven instructional design strategy is aligned with the science of learning and learning theories. The strategy explicitly informs students about learning objectives and reminds teachers to design activities according to learning objectives. The assessment helps instructors and students understand the cognitive outcomes of the classroom. It also helps teachers focus on learning outcomes and understand the challenges that students face. Our empirical study shows that students achieved better course learning outcomes with the test-driven design strategy than with traditional ones. 
Keywords—cognitive domain, course outcomes, instructional design, test-driven design, higher education 

Cite: Yongbin Zhang, Xiuli Fu, Li Wei, and Chunmei Wang, "Improving Higher Education Course Cognitive Outcomes with a Test-Driven Design Strategy for Instruction," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 64-69, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.